Prezi Prevails (07-06-17)

Moulton, Turkay, and Kosslyn wanted to know more about how the presentation tools used influence listeners’ responses to talks. What they learned is useful to all professionals sharing information.  The researchers “recreated a real-world business scenario in which individuals presented to a corporate board. Participants (playing the role of the presenter) were randomly assigned to create PowerPoint, Prezi, or oral presentations, and then actually delivered the presentation live to other participants (playing the role of corporate executives). . . .  participants evaluated PowerPoint presentations comparably to oral presentations, but evaluated Prezi presentations more favorably than both PowerPoint and oral presentations. . . .  the observed effects of presentation format are not merely the result of novelty, bias, experimenter-, or software-specific characteristics, but instead reveal a communication preference for using the panning-and-zooming animations that characterize Prezi presentations.”  A useful definition: “when we refer to ‘oral presentation’, we mean a presentation that is only spoken and does not include any visual aids or the use of presentation software.”

Samuel Moulton, Selen Turkay, and Stephen Kosslyn.  2017.  “Does a Presentation’s Medium Affect its Message?  PowerPoint, Prezi, and Oral Presentations.”  PLoS ONE, vol. 12, no. 7.